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Colorado to retire Ralphie V after home finale vs. Washington

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Colorado has retired Ralphie V at the end of this season, AD Rick George announced Tuesday.

Actually, the retirement is already partially in effect because, as The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman pointed out on Twitter, she had become too powerful.

Ralphie turned 13 in October and is in great health; she receives regular veterinarian check-ups.  As the season progressed, she just wasn’t having the consistency she had displayed in prior years.  With past Ralphies, as they aged, their speed typically decreased; with Ralphie V, she has been so excited to run that she was actually running too fast, which created safety concerns for her and her handlers.  She also wasn’t consistently responding to cues from her handlers, and her temperament was such that she was held back from leading the team out for CU’s last two home games against USC and Stanford.

“Ralphie V has served the department and the university well,” George said.  “She has been a very special buffalo and has truly been adored by many.  We hope she lives for many years to come and look forward to finding her successor.”

Ralphie V, Colorado’s mascot since 2008, will make her last appearance Nov. 23 against Washington, where she will not lead the Buffaloes on to Folsom Field but will appear on the sidelines.

“Ralphie V was our first Ralphie to serve in the age of social media,” Ralphie Program Manager John Graves said.  “Thanks to her, we were able to incorporate an educational aspect to the Ralphie Program and hundreds of thousands of fans were able to meet her and learn more about her and buffalo in general, while countless more learned via social media.  As one of the biggest and fastest Ralphies, her love for running and power was showcased every home game during her career.  It’s almost like she knew she was the queen of campus and she loved to show that fact off when she ran onto the field and at her public appearances.”

Colorado officials are currently reviewing film and making recruiting trips to select Ralphie VI, who will make her debut in 2020.

Colorado the new home for Alabama transfer Antonio Alfano, the Crimson Tide’s highest-rated 2019 signee

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The soap opera that has been the brief collegiate career of Antonio Alfano will move from the Deep South to the Rocky Mountains.

On his personal Twitter account Monday night, Alfano announced that he has officially decided to move on from Alabama to Colorado.  Alfano’s decision comes shortly after taking a visit to the CU campus, and nearly a month after officially entering the NCAA transfer database.

Buffaloes head coach Mel Tucker, who served as the defensive backs coach for the Crimson Tide in 2015, confirmed the addition as well.

Monday’s development was the latest in what’s been a series of headlines for one of the top recruits in the Class of 2019.

Alfano was suspended for unspecified reasons and didn’t dress for Alabama’s Week 2 home opener against New Mexico State.  Not long after, Nick Saban added a bit of mystery to Alfano’s status when he stated that the highly-touted defensive lineman has “kind of disappeared a little bit” before launching into an oral dissertation about failing to confront and learn from one’s mistakes.

On Twitter in mid-September, Alfano’s parents stated that, in large part because of an ailing grandmother, their son “has not attended classes or practices” for an unspecified period of time.  Against their wishes, the parents also confirmed that Alfano was entering the transfer database, although at the time it wasn’t yet official.

Saban offered up an update a couple of days after the family’s social-media statement in which the head coach, very bluntly, stated that the defensive lineman had basically quit the team as he hadn’t shown up for football-related activities, classes or counseling for unspecified issues.  The player wasn’t responding to attempts by the team to contact him, either, Saban added.

During summer camp, Alfano missed a couple of practices for what were described as personal reasons but ultimately returned to the team.  Even before the suspension, the lineman didn’t play in the season opener against Duke.

A five-star 2019 signee, Alfano was rated as the No. 1 strongside defensive end in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Jersey; and the No. 5 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  He was the highest-rated Crimson Tide signee during this most recent cycle.

Colorado punts on an upset as USC storms back to win in Boulder

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Colorado head coach Mel Tucker was on the verge of delivering a signature and historic victory on Friday night but the team whose motto is ‘Fight On’ just wouldn’t give up on leaving Boulder with a victory. USC avoided what could have been an awful upset as they mounted a comeback to beat Colorado 35-31 in a #Pac12AfterDark special in front of the Flatirons.

Sparking the charge with a 21 point outburst in the second half was none other than Kedon Slovis, the young freshman quarterback for the Trojans who helped his team finally notch a win on the road in 2019 by finding his talented group of wide receivers running free all over the field down the stretch. He finished the night with 406 yards, four touchdowns and an interception but most of the heavy lifting was done by the guys on the other end of the throws. Tyler Vaughns notched 104 yards and a score through the air while Michael Pittman was a big play machine on a night where he recorded 156 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Fellow receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was also heavily involved in the display, catching five passes for 55 yards while also getting some featured touches at tailback and running for 50 more yards and scoring off a nifty play up the gut.

The outing by the offense helped cover up for a defense that was on the field for over 34 minutes and gave up a number of big plays in the second and third quarters to sound the upset alert on a chilly night of action.

The Buffs took advantage of that tired and banged up Trojans unit to break out of their own offensive slump the past two games, averaging nearly seven yards per play and going 4-for-4 in the red zone. Steven Montez threw for 324 yards and three scores while Laviska Shenault went off for 172 yards and a touchdown of his own to finally look healthy for the first time in weeks.

It wasn’t enough in the end however as the team ran out of steam and lost their aggressiveness late. Despite controlling the game pretty much from the start on both sides of the ball, Tucker’s decision to punt inside the opposing 40 yard line instead of going for it on fourth down was something fans of the black and gold soon won’t forget — especially given that it resulted in an 89 yard game-winning scoring drive going the other way. The result dropped CU to 3-5 on the season, leaving little margin for error the rest of the way if there’s any hope of making a bowl game in the coach’s debut campaign.

The flip side of not notching the program’s first ever victory over USC is that opposite number Clay Helton’s hot seat can simply stay warm instead of being set fully ablaze by cardinal and gold supporters. The Trojans rather improbably remain atop the Pac-12 South thanks to their win over Utah earlier and return home to the Coliseum next week to face what has proven to be the conference’s best team in Oregon. That game wasn’t expected to carry significant national and conference implications but that is the case with the calendar rolling over November.

Many Buffs fans will have to sit back and wonder what if after a few calls down the stretch but the bottom line is that the team that is supposed to fight on did just that to live another day in yet another wild start to the college football weekend out West.

Colorado leads USC at halftime of competitive Pac-12 South battle

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Pac-12 road teams have struggled in recent years when on the road for Friday night games in conference play and we might be on the verge of adding another victim to the list this week if Colorado can keep things up against South Division rival USC.

The Buffs were giving the visitors everything they could handle to lead 17-14 at halftime on a chilly Boulder night and looking for more after the break in a game that both sides badly need to have as they move deeper into the second half of the season.

Things started out well for the Trojans as they marched right down the field on their opening drive, using wide receiver Amon Ra-St. Brown at tailback due to injuries and allowing the youngster to sprint 37 yards up the gut for a touchdown. He finished the first half with 50 yards on the ground and combined with speedy freshman Kenan Christon (19 yards rushing, 1 TD reception) in the backfield. Quarterback Kedon Slovis had a few flirtations with disaster but posted 120 yards, one score and one interception.

Opposite number Steven Montez looked a lot better throwing the football around, bouncing back from a few rough outings in recent weeks to throw for 147 yards and two touchdowns by the midway mark. Colorado’s star player Laviska Shenault seemed to be fully healthy and fully incorporated in that passing attack, notching six receptions for a nice 69 yards against a banged up secondary.

Penalties were a big issue however and something head coach Mel Tucker will no doubt, uh, discuss with his team in the locker room after the Buffs racked up six flags — including a few drive-killers that zapped some late momentum. CU still held the lead and get the ball back for the second half though as they are hoping to keep things rolling for home teams in some Friday night #Pac12AfterDark action.

New Mexico QB Sheriron Jones suspended after allegedly exposing himself to woman

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Even for a lenient head football coach, this’ll normally net you some type of suspension.

Tuesday, Bob Davie announced that Sheriron Jones had been indefinitely suspended from his New Mexico football program.  The head coach declined to give a reason for the suspension, stating only that it “has absolutely nothing to do with his conduct as far as football or game-related.”

Wednesday, however, reports surfaced that explained the suspension, with multiple media outlets in the area reporting that the quarterback was arrested Oct. 18 after being accused of exposing himself to a woman.

From KOB-TV in Albuquerque:

The woman told police that Jones drove past her several times while she was in the Cornell Parking Structure. A criminal complaint states that the woman asked the driver, “are you good?” and he replied, “no, can you give me 10 seconds.”

The woman said she approached the vehicle and noticed the man masturbating.

She reported the incident to UNM Police. She told them that she recognized Jones from social medial posts.

Police said the license plate, which was seen on surveillance video, matched the vehicle belonging to Jones.

Jones began his collegiate playing career at Tennessee as a touted four-star signee in 2015, but ultimately left Rocky Top (twice) and ended up at the junior-college level before moving on to New Mexico.  After starting seven games last season, Jones had started three in 2019 even as he lost out on the job in summer camp.